Weather warnings in place as Storm Brian follows Ophelia

Weather warnings in place as Storm Brian follows Ophelia
Flooding on the re-opened Centre Park Road, after storm Ophelia knocked trees, with rain from storm Brian, Centre Park Road, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CORK city escaped overnight and early morning flooding, but is bracing itself for strong winds and further rainfall as weather warnings remain in place until 10pm tonight.

Storm Brian made landfall yesterday, bringing heavy downpours to an already storm-battered city and county.

More than 20,000 remain without power countywide, while gardaí are warning the public to remain alert for danger as gusts of up to 130km per hour are expected throughout the day.

ESB officials have warned the poor weather may hamper efforts to reconnect homes to the grid, with some potentially set to go without power until the middle of next week. An expected tidal surge in the River Lee did not occur, giving beleaguered businesses and city residents a much-needed break, though the city and county may not be in the clear just yet.

Motorists power through the flood water on Centre Park Road.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Motorists power through the flood water on Centre Park Road.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Met Éireann’s weather warning, which also extends to Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Waterford and Wexford, warns of gale-force winds with speeds of 65-80 km/h and gusts of 110-130 km/h. Winds will ease this evening.

There is also a rainfall warning in place until 9pm with 30-50mm expected.

High tide this morning passed without incident. High tide this evening will be shortly before 7.30pm.

A Garda spokesperson in Cork warned people to stay alert for danger, as a status orange weather warning remains in place for coastal areas in Cork until 10pm on Saturday.

“With the storm earlier in the week, a lot of trees have been weakened and we would urge people to take care throughout the day. If it doesn’t seem too windy people may be tempted to go out walking but we would urge caution; it depends on how the storm develops during the day.” 

The city centre escaped flooding last night and this morning, despite high water levels in the River Lee.Picture: Larry Cummins
The city centre escaped flooding last night and this morning, despite high water levels in the River Lee.Picture: Larry Cummins

A number of road closures are in place in the city, with parts of Centre Park Road still off limits to traffic after dozens of trees fell during Storm Ophelia, while the Shakey Bridge is also closed until the middle of next week amid fears of storm damage.

The Fire Service reported a quiet night in the city and county but reports of falling trees in Clare and Kerry overnight were expected to be repeated in Cork as the storm develops throughout Saturday.

Fota Wildlife Park has opted to close today as a precaution, too.

Efforts are continuing to restore electricity to homes without power since Monday but the ESB has warned poor weather conditions could hamper their work.

On Friday night, the number of customers without power was down to 29,000, with Cork continuing to be by far the worst affected counties.

Thousands in Bandon, Dunmanway, Fermoy and elsewhere are yet to be reconnected to the grid, while there are huge numbers in and around Cork city still without electricity too, with dozens in Togher, Greenmount, Deerpark, Fairhill and St Luke’s still waiting to be reconnected.

ESB crews continue to work hard to reconnect thousands who have been without power since Monday.Picture: Larry Cummins
ESB crews continue to work hard to reconnect thousands who have been without power since Monday.Picture: Larry Cummins

Contractors and crews from NIE Networks, EDF and overseas utilities and defence forces personnel have been assisting ESB efforts.

The HSE say they are working with key agencies across Cork to deal with the effects of Storm Brian.

They say they are in constant contact with gardaí and local authorities in order to monitor any challenges for vulnerable people using their community services across the Cork and Kerry Region.

Cork Simon says arrangements had been put in place in advance of Storm Brian, with extra staff drafted in and the day centre open.

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